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Incredible New Artifacts Found In 2,000-Year-Old Mexican Tunnel

Posted October 31, 2014 by George Dvorsky

For the past year, archaeologists have been working in a 2,000-year-old tunnel at the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan. The dig has yielded thousands of new relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds. Read more…

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The history of our house

Posted October 26, 2014 by andrea tomkins

I think there’s value in knowing how we once lived. How can you move forward if you don’t ever look back? How can you be proud of your community if you don’t know how it has evolved and changed? This is something I think a lot about, especially in my role with our neighbourhood newspaper. […]

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The Year’s Most Interesting State Ballot Measures

Posted October 21, 2014 by Anonymous

Voters in 42 states will vote on a total of 158 statewide ballot measures on Election Day. Here are some of the most intriguing ones we found.

The post The Year’s Most Interesting State Ballot Measures appeared first on .

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General

Ask Uncle John Anything: This One Gets a Thumbs Up!

Posted October 20, 2014 by Anonymous

What’s the origins of the thumbs up? In the days of gladiator battles in ancient Rome, the losing gladiator would be then put to death…unless the emperor in attendance saved him by holding out a fist with his thumb extended upward. (A down-pointing thumb meant the death penalty stood.)

The post Ask Uncle John Anything: This One Gets a Thumbs Up! appeared first on .

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General

Vote Vader!

Posted October 20, 2014 by Anonymous

The midterm elections are about to go down in the U.S., but in the Ukraine, voters are trying to decide if they should cast their votes for a certain Sith lord.

The post Vote Vader! appeared first on .

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General

The Coming Global Recession and the Remaking of the World

Posted October 14, 2014 by Ian Welsh

Guidance is falling all over the world for economies, with even Germany at risk of falling into recession.  The US dollar has been rising in a huge flight to safety, while the price of oil has been dropping.  Growth in the world economy has ultimately been based on the BRICs and those have been based [...]

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General

Hadfield in China for International Planetary Congress; PM to Follow in November

Posted September 14, 2014 by Chuck Black
          by Brian Orlotti

Chris Hadfield. Photo c/o Paul Chiasson/ Canadian Press.

Several events over the past few weeks have highlighted China’s growing influence both in space affairs and the world at large.

For example, the International Planetary Congress, a major space conference, is being held Sept 10th to 15th in Beijing, China for the first time. The event is organized by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) in co-operation with the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), a group which represents some 400 astronauts/cosmonauts from 35 nations.

The Congress’ theme is “Cooperation: To Realize Humanity’s Space Dream Together.” Chinese astronauts (called Taikonauts) will present reports from their previous spaceflights and China’s first astronaut, Yang Liwei, will present an invitation to the international community to join China in building its upcoming space station.

Last summer, Chinese officials stated that China’s 60-ton multi-module manned station is being fast tracked, with the first module to be launched in 2018 (two years earlier than previously announced). Additional modules are to be launched in 2020 and 2022.

As stated in the September 10th, 2014 Canadian Press article “Chris Hadfield to attend international space conference in China,” retired astronaut Chris Hadfield will be attending as Canada’s sole representative and will participate in a discussion panel with Chinese taikonauts on common space mission experiences.

According to the article, Hadfield, a former ASA president, said that he hopes that the Congress will spur a new round of international cooperation in space and, while China’s long term goals would include a manned Lunar base, the best model for that might be the existing international partnerships which helped to build the International Space Station (ISS).

Although Hadfield tiptoed around the International Planetary Congress’ political significance, the desire to work with the Chinese at either the governmental or private level was apparent when he stated:

Even if they (the Chinese) don’t make a direct overture, it is still 100 people who are quite influential in the space business having a chance — without a specific political agenda — to get together and talk about opportunities and build further relationships.

Hadfield’s remarks come on the heels of his July 2014 visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as outlined in the August 11th, 2014 post “Hadfield in Emirates, Russia in Lather & UrtheCast in Orbit,” when he publicly stating his interest in  helping the UAE to set up its own space agency and launch a Mars probe in 2021.

Also attending the conference are some 30 space travelers from the US, including active NASA astronauts. The Americans  are attending as private citizens and ASE members, however, and not as official NASA representatives. NASA is prohibited  by US law from space cooperation with China.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the 5th Canada China Business Forum, which was held in Beijing, China in February 2012. As outlined  in the September 12th, 2014 Canadian Press article “Canada-China investment treaty to come into force Oct. 1,” the Canadian PM will revisit China in November 2014. Photo c/o Canadian Press

Stronger ties with China in space could very well flow from Canada’s now-stronger economic links with China. As outlined in the September 12th, 2014 National Post article “Ottawa ratifies foreign investment deal with China despite tensions,” the Canadian government last week recently ratified the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), a controversial 31-year foreign investment agreement with China.

Critics of FIPA say that the agreement will grant China control of Canada’s national resources while blocking Canadian businesses access to protected Chinese industries. FIPA advocates claim that the agreement will allow Chinese capital to flow into Canadian industry, spurring job creation and growth in a time of economic difficulty.

Brian Orlotti.
History has shown again and again that leadership vacuums are inevitably filled. Should the space programs of the US, Europe and Russia continue to remain in stasis, others are ready to step in and fill the void.
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Brian Orlotti is a Toronto-based IT professional and a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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General

The Lebanese Rocket Society

Posted September 1, 2014 by Chuck Black

          by Chuck BlackNot every space or missile launch program requires hundreds of millions of dollars to create and sustain.As described in the 2012 Franco – Lebanese documentary film, the Lebanese Rocket Society, all you …

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Alberta

Reflections On Canada Day: The Impact Of Canadian History

Posted July 1, 2014 by Jared Milne

I’m writing this on the morning of Canada Day 2014, thinking about all the fascinating things I’ve read about and seen, and all the people I’ve met. One thing I’ve come across is all the different parts of Canadian history I’ve studied, and how they’ve tied into many of the recent issues we’ve faced in Canada….

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